Origin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4.9 x 50)
Ring : 50
Box date : SEP 2011
Weight : 11.66 g
Price : ~$230 for a cab of 25
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The Juan Lopez brand is definitely not among the most famous Cuban brands. This particular Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 is well aged; I purchased my box back in 2011. I tried the Seleccion No. 2 fresh out of the box then forgot about it, and wanted to see how the flavors have been enhanced by the aging process.
This is a fat, rustic-looking cigar with a medium-dark brown wrapper. There are some very prominent veins running along its length, and an oily sheen. The wrapper leaf is also a bit toothy and leathery in texture. The overall approach is one of simplicity. It is nothing amazing to look at, but if you like the rustic look, you’ll find it here. On pre-light I smell earth and wood, sweet and generic, not much hint of what is inside.
The draw is initially a little tight but opens up on its own without any interference from me. The burn is even and the ash holds on nicely for a good while. There is nothing to complain about here. A very well-made cigar, surprisingly well-made I'd even say.
This cigar features an unusual blend of flavors. The backdrop is earthy, as you would guess from the pre-light, and there is a hint of spice and roasted nuts. There is also a creamy element which weaves the whole together. What is unusual here is the savory meat-type flavor which is also worked into the whole. It seems like it should clash, but it actually is quite pleasant, and enhances the other flavors in its own unusual way, working particularly well with the roasted nutty notes.
The flavors are all very strong starting out, but mellow a bit during the middle third. The body also is less intense at this point, and this is where the creaminess is most pronounced along with the other sweet “dessert” type flavors. In the final third, the power kicks back in along with stronger flavors. A coffee note emerges as the most prominent at this point. This evolution of flavors and aromas is very memorable, and distinctive from any other smoking experiences that I can recall (I must also admit that I don't smoke a lot of Cuban cigars).
Overall Rating : (4.25)
While the appearance of this aged Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 is rather rustic and simplistic, the flavors are anything but. They are very complex and undergo a number of intriguing transformations from start to finish. For those who enjoy full bodied stogies and unusual flavor combinations, the Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 has plenty to offer, even at the ~$10 price point.